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Rachel is a 35 year old school teacher who has no man in her life and lives with her mother. When a man from the big city returns and asks her out, she begins to have to make decisions about her life and where she wants it to go.
When she sees him at a hospital fund-raiser, newlywed San Francisco socialite Petulia Danner, who has been married to naval engineer David Danner for six months, seems determined to have an affair with soon to be divorced physician Dr. Archie Bollen, who has been married to his wife Polo for close to ten years, their marriage which many saw as being perfect. Archie doesn't even know Petulia's name, but only knows her as the woman who brought in a young Mexican boy into the hospital with serious injuries. Petulia's pursuit of Archie is relentless - she even declaring that they will someday be married - even as Archie dates another woman named May. Archie eventually learns part of the reason why Petulia is so determined to cheat on David as her relationship to David and David's wealthy father are brought to light. Archie also learns that getting involved with Petulia in any regard has its consequences, both for Petulia herself and for him, most specifically in his relationship to Polo. Written by
I was reviewing Julie Christie's career on the net, and, of course, came across one of my favorite's. As expected, the leads are the best...over time and effort. I saw it the year it was released. It still stays with me...clearly and distinctly. From Chamberlain to Knight and Joseph Cotton, everybody stands out. The director uses the Bay area quite nicely as the backdrop. If it was on tonight, on the cable, I would be sure to watch it. I viewed the movie through the eyes of Scott's character. He is in the middle of the late 60's and lost and his wife, Shirley Knight, just doesn't get it. What is the fuss. Kooky or straight, average wage earner or wealthy, they all are portrayed well... as their lives intersect. Yes it is a slice of life, in the vein of the theatre of the absurd...yet it made so much sense as I was watching it. Later Scott played a head surgeon in a New York hospital opposite Diana Rugg. It was as though the character in Petulia got transferred to New York, still lost but still the good doctor. Julie Christie continues to work when she wants to and picks her projects well. Unlike one of the reviewers on this site, Christie did significant work in Afterglow with Nick Nolte in the mid 90's. How could he drop that from his memory bank. Petulia is well worth the concentrated effort it takes to watch.
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